Friday, 6 January 2017

1/35 Trumpeter's - E100 Heavy Tank (Part 2)

Since my last post regarding this build I decided, somewhat late in the build I'll admit, that I wanted to try producing texture on the hull, turret, and gun mantlet to simulate the real steel of a German machine of the WWII period. This change of heart came about having been inspired by the extra armour effects created on my Super Pershing, and also by current conflicts and the improvised machines seen in recent disturbing news reports. 
Photo above: you're seeing my E-100's painted hull: I employed the 'black and white' technique to create some interesting tonal contrasts before adding a final base coat - my version of German primer (Vallejo Calvary Brown which was very heavily diluted).

Photo above: the top of the hull is the lightest area, the place where the light would be most prevalent. I have learned from past builds to over-exaggerate this method as future weathering techniques will diminish much of the garishness you see here. 

Photo above: I am very happy with the way my hull looks so far, but am undecided as to whether to add some late-war dunkelgelb - and why this indecisiveness?  Once the turret is added, depicted as unpainted steel, I feel there will be a lack of contrast. I want to create a separation between the primer painted late-war hull and its hurriedly replaced and barely completed turret, which will hopefully be very 'raw' in appearance (and in various shades of rusty brown)

Photo above
Wanting raw-looking metal plate and not having a real German tank to hand, I took to the inter-webs to study real German armour, in particular, King Tiger 'walk-arounds'.  It was very apparent that hulls and turrets were anything but smooth, so after watching some videos about replicating texture and considering my options, eventually I went the Mr. Surfacer route, using the 1000 product purely because it was all I had available. 

How to create the effect: 
1) Mask off areas you don't want textured.
2) Shake bottle well before opening.
3) Stipple Mr. Surfacer on model neat using an old brush (clean the brush using white spirit after each session and realise your brush won't be good for anything other than this type of rough usage from now on). Using Mr. Surfacer 1000 means several layers may be required, stippling until it becomes stodgy and rough; I was overly cautious and waited approx. 24 hours before adding a fresh layer - this stuff actually dries very quickly depending on temperatures in your area. 
3) Finally, you maybe left with a model coated in a horrible-looking, shiny rough texture, but don't panic! Wearing a dust mask and going outside if possible, sand with sanding sticks using varying grades and sizes where required, and suddenly you will be left with a lovely textured model. 

Remember, if you feel you have removed too much texture, don't worry as it's always possible to add more Mr. Surfacer and repeat the process mentioned above.    

How I made my weld beads
Weld beads were simulated using Perfect Plastic Putty, which was probably not ideal as it's fragile but tough enough once dried and painted - it's also all I had available. I guess it doesn't matter what filler you use and I could have even used the Mr. Surfacer.

1) Using regular masking tape I masked the areas around where I wanted my welding beads - this was a long and tedious job but worth the effort as the finished result adds a pleasing effect. 
2) I applied a small amount of filler using a cocktail stick which I then gently smoothed out.
3) The tape was delicately removed leaving behind the wet filler; this should be left until it begins to slightly harden but being impatient, I waited only a minute or two before going in with a miniature flat-head screwdriver to make little indents to replicate welding. 
4) If I went wrong, and I did, it was easy to remove my putty and start again.

While it might not be 100% authentic, the above method works well once painted and is a good representation of real welded metal plates.

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